Jessica L. Sousa

Jessica L. Sousa
Senior Policy Analyst


M.S.W. in social work, Boston University; M.P.H. in health service management, Boston University; B.A. in psychology, University of Pennsylvania


Jessica Sousa (she/her) is a senior policy analyst at RAND. As a public health social worker, her research contributions have centered on telehealth implementation, behavioral health care, health equity, and patient experiences with care. She has over a decade of experience in using qualitative and mixed-method approaches to data collection and analysis, including through conducting surveys, semi-structured interviews, and focus groups with patients, service members, providers, and health care leaders. In recent years, she has partnered with RAND colleagues on a number of studies of patient and provider experiences with telebehavioral health and other digital health technologies, both in civilian and military settings. Sousa has also served as project manager on several complex projects culminating in deliverables submitted to federal sponsors in support of reports to Congress: one to evaluate telementoring activities designed to build the capacity of primary care providers in rural and underserved settings, and another to assess federal investments in health services and primary care research. Her research interests include telehealth policy and implementation, patient experiences with telehealth and behavioral health care, strategies to promote health equity and reduce health care disparities, and interventions to address social determinants of health such as racism and poverty.

Sousa holds dual Master's degrees in clinical social work and health policy and management from Boston University and a Bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Pennsylvania.

Selected Publications

Sousa, J., Smith, A., Richard, J., Rabinowitz, M., Raja, P., Mehrotra, A., Busch, A.B., Huskamp, H.A., & Uscher-Pines, L., "Choosing or Losing in Behavioral Health: A Study of Patient Experiences Selecting Telehealth Versus In-Person Care. ," Health Affairs, 42(9), 2023

Uscher-Pines, L., Kapinos, K., Rodriguez, C., Pérez-Dávila, S., Raja, P., Rodriguez, J.A., Rabinowitz, M., Youdelman, M., & Sousa, J.L., "Access challenges for patients with limited English proficiency: a secret-shopper study of in-person and telehealth behavioral health services in California safety-net clinics," Health Affairs Scholar, 1(3), 2023

Hepner, Kimberly A., Joshua Breslau, Jessica L. Sousa, Carol P. Roth, Teague Ruder, Isabelle González, Cheryl K. Montemayor, and Beth Ann Griffin, Virtual Behavioral Health for Army Soldiers: Soldier Perspectives and Patterns of Treatment, RAND Corporation (RR-A2241-1), 2023

Plombon, S., Rudin, R. S., Sulca Flores, J., Goolkasian, G., Sousa, J., Rodriguez, J., Lipsitz, S., Foer, D., & Dalal, A. K., "Assessing Equitable Recruitment in a Digital Health Trial for Asthma," Applied Clinical Informatics, 14(4), 2023

Sousa, J.L., Raja, P., Huskamp, H.A., Mehrotra, A., Busch, A.B., Barnett, M.L. and Uscher-Pines, L., "Perspectives of Patients Receiving Telemedicine Services for Opioid Use Disorder Treatment: A Qualitative Analysis of User Experiences," Journal of Addiction Medicine, 16(6), 2022

Uscher-Pines, L., Sousa, J., Jones, M., Whaley, C., Perrone, C., McCullough, C. and Ober, A.J., "Telehealth Use Among Safety-Net Organizations in California During the COVID-19 Pandemic," JAMA, 325(11), 2021

Hepner, Kimberly A., Jessica L. Sousa, Justin Hummer, Harold Alan Pincus, and Ryan Andrew Brown, Military Behavioral Health Staff Perspectives on Telehealth Following the Onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic, RAND Corporation (RR-A421-2), 2021